August 16, 2008 - As National Grid moves - too slowly for some - to clean up a toxic plume on the western edge of downtown Bay Shore, the company has quietly bought an unoccupied south-of-Montauk Highway mansion laid to ruin by the century-old contamination.
It paid $3 million for the former home of Stephen Phillips, several people familiar with the transaction said, and required a nondisclosure agreement to prevent word from getting out, to no avail. The sale was confirmed at a June public meeting convened by state officials and National Grid. The seller and National Grid declined to discuss the price.
The plume stems from a former Long Island Lighting Co. plant where a natural-gas-like vapor was once manufactured for heating and lighting; the plant is long since closed but has left an underground pool of highly toxic coal tar. The plume is more than 3,500 feet long and 600 feet wide.
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